B&B Terrazza dei Sogni - Ragusa Ibla

Eat and Events in Ragusa

Eat and Events in Ragusa


Due to his position and his prolific land, Ragusa’s economy is based on agriculture and farm animals, able to make products unique for quality. Diary products are probably the most renowned like the Ragusano DOP Cheese, with a parallelepiped shape and a great taste coming from hundreds years of experience, is still hand-made like the tradition wants. The shape of Caciocavallo cheeses are put in brine for sixty days after that are hung in pair on a girder for at least six months before to be served (the name of Caciocavallo comes from here, simulating the Cacio on a horse).
Another typical product of Ragusa is the Honey of Satra a characteristic kind of honey extracted from a plant growing in the Iblei mountains.
Between the first plates, of course, fresh home-made pasta is the most known; in the past there were at least fifty different kind. Today typical are Cavati con stufato di maiale (fresh home-made pasta with pork stew) cooked with local tomato sauce and red pepper, usually accompanied with red wine Cerasuolo. With the same sauce are also flavoured ravioli di ricotta cheese.
Important plates, considered an artwork of the kitchen in the past, are timballi of maccheroni or rise. His crunchy crust contain every flavour of the Sicilian kitchen.
Also for legumes is reserved a special treatment. These poor dishes are prepared in many different ways but always appreciated. Broad beans for example are cooked with fresh pappardelle served with olive oil and spicy red pepper on top locally called pasta chè lolli. Broad beans can be also overcooked until they get broken in small pieces: Maccu ri fave. Chickpeas are used for soups or to make Tianu: a recipe with rise, ricotta cheese or pasta and cheese cooked in a traditional souce pace of terracotta.
For the second plates of meat: pork is largely the most used. Very tasty sausages or typical pork in aspic should be tried. However, there are also other dishes to be tasted like costata di maiale ripiena: pork rib-eye filled with Mediterranean flavours, falso magro, polpettone and gallo ripieno.
Good fresh fish is always possible to be bought in the markets of Donnalucata and Scoglitti. Typical is the preparation of Seppie ripiene Cuttlefish : gut before and than filled with rise, breadcrumb, green peas and eggs. Cuttlefish can be also found inside focacce with small spaghetti and breadcrumb called ‘mpanata ri sicci.
Considered as a street food for his facility to be consumed, Focacce or Scacci, is a complete meal. There are many kind: with onions and tomato sauce, with ricotta cheese and sausage, with broccoli or spinach and many others. There are also the ones with meat or fish called ‘mpanate: lamb, turkey, chicken or with eel and smoothhound fish. Generally those are reserved for Easter.
In the cities by the sea a characteristic plate is la ghiotta with octopus and potatoes which is cut and boiled first and than cooked with tomato sauce, garlic, potatoes and spices. With the sauce of la ghiotta is cooked also pasta or rise. Fabulous is pasta con bottarga or savoury acciughe. Incredibly tasty is la cipollata which consist in a tuna fillet topped with onions and tomato sauce.
Pachino is a famous city for the production of an incredibly testy cherry tomato. However, also surrounding the city is possible to find old conserves of this product like sundry tomatoes and many other varieties.
Typical is also ‘u pani I pasta rura: with the flavour of the woody oven, crunchy on top and soft inside this hand-made bread is the result of over hundred years of experience. Tradition wants that In the past this bread was made at home on Sunday and consumed during the all week.
Large is the variety of sweets, where the past left indelible recipes, like hand-made chocolate of Modica imported from the Spanish in the 17th century or ‘mpanatigghie: biscuits cooked with very small pieces of meat. La giuggiulena has Arabic origins and consist in nougat cooked with sesame seeds, honey and skin of oranges. There are also the two variety of nougat: roasted or white produced at Giarratana. Largely used are the almonds for making biscuits, amaretti and many other desserts.
Absolutely the most famous Sicilian dessert are cannoli which consist in a crunchy fried mixture filled with cream or ricotta cheese. Also cassate of ricotta cheese and cinnamon powder on top are largely consumed at Easter.
Carobs are very used too for desserts like mustazzola of Scicli prepared with flour, honey, wine, almonds and cinnamon. Biscuits with a shape of a “S” are the mucatoli filled with dry figs, nuts, almonds and honey. Another typical sweet of Scicli are teste di turco which are filled with cream or ricotta cheese and have the shape of a small head wearing a turban (from here comes the name).


San Giorgio’s Festival
Traditionally San Giorgio’s festival is celebrated the last Sunday of May and not on the 23rd  of April (day of the patron saint’s festival).
For this occasion, the church of the saint, is adorned with antique drapes and big flower compositions. Beside the transept, are exposed, the statues of San Giorgio riding a horse and the Saint Ark. For the occasion, all the city is lighted with particular lively colorful lamps.
Under the sound of the band and firecrackers, the Saint is taken out from the church and the procession starts (Friday). The devotee, follow the same traditional itinerary, arriving to Chiesa del Purgatorio, where the Saint Ark is left for the night, while San Giorgio is taken to Chiesa di San Tommaso, near to Giardino Ibleo. The two simulacrums stay separate for a night, in order to remind the imprisonment of San Giorgio during his martyrdom. On Saturday, San Giorgio goes back to pick the Saint Ark up and together return to the mother church.
On Sunday morning, third and last day of the festival, after a grandiose celebration, are exposed the six scenes of the Saint’s martyrdom, notched by Vincenzo Fiorello of Palermo in 1793. In the afternoon, the procession, with the two simulacrums, takes part around the streets of Ibla, followed by local authorities and a big crowd. Arriving to the square in front of chiesa del Purgatorio, the two statues are brought into Chiesa del Purgtorio. Afterwards, when San Giorgio comes out, start a celebration where the Saint, taken on shoulders, is made to dance, raised un on air and brought around the square like if people want to take him possess of the place. This old tradition, takes place since the earthquake of 1693, when San Giorgio becomes the protector of this ancient neighborhood.
The statue of the Saint is a opera of the sculptor from Palermo Giuseppe Bagnasco, made in 1842. The body of the statue, the horse and the dragon are made in poplar and  lime wood. Oat and chestnut the basement for a total amount of 500kg. the armor, the plumed helmet and the finishing horse are in silver geminated with gold.
The Saint Ark is made by Salvatore La Villa from Palermo, realized between the 1804 to 1808, in substitution of the one from 1700, contains many relics.
Spectacular are the fireworks during the procession of the Sunday on the staircase of the church, in front of a crowded square composed by many local people and fascinated tourists that will keep in mind these images forever. During the execution of the fireworks, in order to make the atmosphere friskier, there are not only two bands playing music, but also many artists around the city.

Ibla buskers
The demonstration that take place every year in the month of October, since 1995, at Ragusa Ibla, it might be consider the festival of fantasy and creativity. Every evening, for about five days, the narrow streets of the city, live a vibrant atmosphere,  where a large number of visitors take part of this fantastic journey among the baroque capital.
Buskers, coming from all over the world, exhibit themselves in a natural theatre which is Ibla. Easy to find them in various corners of the baroque streets with their curious exhibitions capable to fascinate visitors and distract them from reality.
Fakirs, fire breathers, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, instrument players and so on are appreciated by audience, during those days, curious of that poor art, sometimes without resources but at the same time rich of fantasy. The success of this festival is given to EDRISI association that has been capable to grow this event and bring it famous also in Europe.   Festival Grand Prize Festival Grand Prize, since 1992, is an International musical contest that made Ragusa Ibla famous in all the world. The festival take place usually in June or July and keeps long ten days. Participants are either Italians or foreigners and does not have any restriction for the age. The exhibitions can me seen at Falcone Borsellino salon and at Piazza Pola square. After an accurate selection, participants offer a spectacular lyric show, particularly appreciated by local public and tourists, who came here to assist at this particular musical event.   San Giovanni Festival San Giovanni Battista is celebrated on the 24th of June, date of his birth. The celebration obviously, take place at his cathedral where special Masses are spoken several times during the whole day. However, the real San Giovanni Festival, is celebrated from the 27th until the 29th of August, date of his martyrdom. In the last few years, this special event, is organized by a committee of young people guided by the Priest of the cathedral. The statue of the Saint is hold for three day by 40 young boys. On the 27th , is brought in one church of the city (change every year), where is left for the night. The following day, the Saint is brought back to the cathedral and on the 29th starts a memorable procession. This is a unique spectacular moment, where thousands of people, many are shoeless, accompany the statue, holding big candles. During these days, there is also a local fair with typical products. To end celebrations, at midnight of the 29th there is a firework show.

Ibla Street Food
In the last few years, usually in the first half of September, took place this culinary event is getting more popular.
This is a very nice occasion to discover and enjoy the local street food specialities through the alleis and street of the old baroque neighborhood of Ragusa.
All you need to do is purchase a unique ticket which let you the chance of taste the many mini-portions that every restaurant is proposing.
This funny event goes with local bands and alternative entertainments.

  • In February, in Chiaramonte Gulfi, during carnival, the "Sagra della Salsiccia" (sausage festival) is organized, includes a number of masquerades and dances.
  • In Monterosso Almo, during carnival, the townspeople organize the "Sagra dei cavatieddi" (fresh hand made pasta shaped like little ears), the "Sagra del Pane" (fresh bread festival) where bread is served with various different flavor and seasonings. "Sagra della crispella" (soft batter, stuffed with anchovies and ricotta than deep fried in oil)
  • The "Sagra della Seppia" (cuttlefish festival) takes place in Donnalucata. During the celebration in honour of Saint Joseph. At the end of May the town celebrates the "Sagra del pomodoro" (tomato festival).
  • The "Sagra del Pesce" (fish festival) is celebrated during the summer in Pozzallo and Scoglitti.
  • The "Sagra della Cipolla" (onion Festival) is celebrated during the summer in Giarratana.
  • "Sagra dell'Uva" (grapes festival) is hold in Pedalino in autumn season.
  • In Vittoria the Fiera Emaia (a fais) is hold, during various months of the year with several stands displaying various items like furniture, handy crafts, items of hobbies and so on. Fiera Agricola, (agriculture fair) one of the most interesting events, in the last three year, livestock and farming equipment are displayed and sold out.